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Teacher Tips and Answers

Prewriting for Research Reports

Of all the forms of academic writing, research reports require the most planning. The good news is that the extra attention you give to prewriting will make it easier for you to draft your report.

Prewriting to Select a Topic

For your report, you will research an important person from the past or present. As you consider topic choices, note people who truly interest you, because you will be spending a lot of time learning about them.

Create a cluster.

Create a cluster about historical figures from social studies, science, or math. Add names in the first branch of circles. Write a detail about the person in the second branch. Finally, put a star by the person you want to write about. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  • Cluster
  • Cluster

Other Ways to Discover Topic Ideas

Search online or scan your school books for influential figures. Also try freewriting for topics.

Prewriting for Research Questions

Now that you have decided on a topic for your report, you need to find out what you already know about the person and what you want to learn.

Record what you know.

List all the things that you definitely know to be true about your topic. Then list any information you are not completely sure of. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

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